After having taken it easy for a few days, especially getting detoxed from all of the bad instant coffee and food I drank and ate in the Philippines, I decided to take a half-day tour of the Cuchi Tunnels near Saigon.
I booked the tour through the Vietnam Inn Saigon (110,000 Dongs + 90,000 Dongs for entry to the site). I had initially planned on going earlier but this afternoon tour fit my plans (1-7pm). The bus we took was brand new and comfortable, which was a welcome change from the Southern Star buses in the Philippines. After an hour, it stopped at a racket/scam place called Handicapped Handcrafts. They basically lie and say that everyone there was harmed in the Vietnam War, which was ludicrous. I spent the time talking with my colleague and fellow travelers.
I think there was only one American amongst the travelers (my colleague Brian). The rest were Dutch, German, Canadian, and Swedish. The tour was interesting. I especially enjoyed the propaganda movie they made us watch at the end. Naturally, a lot of this was true. It was presented in a direct and unambiguous fashion, talking about village girls who went to destroy tanks. We also went into the cramped tunnels and covered a stretch of 200m. Towards the end, I definitely wanted to get out. The tunnels are very uncomfortable for tall people who aren’t used to squatting.
We reached the shooting range, and for a price (25,000-35,000 Dongs / bullet) you could shoot some guns (handguns, assault rifles, machine guns). I passed on that. The ride back was fairly quick and uneventful. This is definitely a good day trip to make from Saigon.